Facebook tests disappearing post feature on iOS

ScheduleFB-220x259Ever wish that embarrassing Facebook post you made would just disappear? Soon, you might be able to do that, as Facebook is trying to bring the Snapchat-like timebomb messaging aspect into the News Feed.

According to The Next Web, Facebook is testing a “disappearing post” feature with select iOS app users that allows them to post something and then choose a time when that post will expire.

Users can pick 1 hour, 3 hours, 6 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, 2 days or 7 days.

Facebook confirmed this test in a statement:

We’re running a small pilot of a feature on Facebook for iOS that lets people schedule deletion of their posts in advance.

The Next Web notes that even though the post may be deleted from a user’s timeline, it can take up to 90 days to completely disappear from Facebook’s servers.

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Facebook vs. Google: the battle for deep linking supremacy

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Facebook and Google are in an arms race, but this time not over active user counts. Both tech giants are making big moves in the deep linking world, allowing users to go straight from one app to another. For instance, when a user clicks on an ad from Hotels.com within their Facebook News Feed, they’re led into the Hotels.com app (if they’ve got it installed) instead of a mobile browser. This process is done through a platform Facebook announced earlier this year at f8, App Links.

For Facebook, this makes mobile advertising much more valuable, as app developers don’t have to worry about a sub-standard experience when a person is led to the mobile browser site. For Google, it’s a way to evolve to meet the growing demand on mobile and bring Android to the forefront.

URX, a deep linking search engine for developers, supports both Facebook’s App Links and Google’s deep linking. URX has been one of the early and major players in the deep linking community and recently announced that it is building the first mobile app search API. We talked with URX Head of Marketing Mike Fyall to learn how Facebook and Google are competing within this space.

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Are mobile users moving away from sharing content via Facebook?

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A new report by Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer Adobe shows that people may be moving away from Facebook’s public content sharing methods in favor of more private methods, such as messaging.

Adobe’s latest Mobile Benchmark Report shows that, among digital magazine publishers, Facebook sharing on mobile is down 42.6 percent year over year, while sharing via iMessage has risen 259 percent. Sharing through Pinterest rose 131 percent in that time period.

Tamara Gaffney, Principal Analyst for Adobe Digital Index, talked with Inside Facebook about how people seem to be preferring more private methods of sharing via mobile than Facebook:

Facebook, to a certain degree, is a victim of its own success. We have so many friends from all walks of life in it. The fact that all of the interactions going on between mobile devices and Facebook are having problems with getting smaller sets out this big thing that Facebook has become is likely to create a dampening on the amount of sharing. If you’re a media company, that’s a problem. All that sharing is how you get traffic. You want sharing to happen on Facebook because Facebook is broader and you’re more likely to get more people clicking through an article.

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Study: How cost-efficient is Facebook advertising?

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Even as the cost of Facebook advertising rises, is the social network’s offering the most efficient for marketers? According to a new study by Neustar, Facebook advertising in Q2 beat out other avenues (network, portal and exchange) in terms of reach efficiency and average cost.

Neustar’s study shows that Facebook’s cost efficiency in Q2 indexed 70 percent cheaper than the industry average. It was also the only channel that out-performed the indexed average for reach efficiency, beating ad portals by 286 percent.

Two of the major reasons for Facebook advertising’s popularity? Mobile and video. Rob Gatto, Neustar’s Senior Vice President of Media and Advertising, feels that we’ve only started to see video’s potential:

One interesting thing I see in video is that most advertisers are content to buy it simply with age and gender as an overlay. After all, that’s typical of how you buy television.

But in the digital world, you can buy video with a far deeper level of audience, attribution and behavior. Advertisers aren’t yet taking advantage of that.

There are all sorts of opportunities for sequential messaging with video: creative that moves a customer along at different touchpoints, aligned to the buyer journey. We already do a lot of these things in the display world, but haven’t yet duplicated them into video.

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Facebook to mobile users: Get the facts about Messenger

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Facebook is addressing the fear associated with its Messenger application. Some mobile users are seeing a prompt atop News Feed, titled Messenger: Myths vs. Facts, according to a story in TheNextWeb.

Much of the unease over Facebook’s Messenger app — which is now the only way, other than mobile browser, that Facebook users can check and respond to messages — comes from a fear-mongering Huffington Post article and a story from a radio station, both of which have been widely circulated around the social network.

Facebook is now answering these rumors. When a user who sees the prompt taps “Learn More,” it leads them to a post explaining the truths about Facebook Messenger and privacy.

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Facebook announces ad targeting based on bandwidth connection

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Facebook on Wednesday introduced a new way to target ads: based on bandwidth connection. This will help advertisers reach users whose mobile connection may not be best for video ads or other data-hungry methods.

This new feature allows advertisers to target based on mobile connection: 2G, 3G or 4G.

Facebook Product Marketing Manager Brendan Sullivan announced this in a blog post:

Targeting by mobile network type helps advertisers choose creative that will run smoothly on any given device and connection speed. For example, serving a video ad to people in Indonesia with 2G connections may mean wasted impressions if people are unable to load the video or it buffers for minutes when clicked. Optimizing the creative — for instance, targeting a video campaign to people with high-speed connections, and swapping in an image or link ad for people with slower connections — means ads can perform more efficiently for the people seeing them.

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Instagram launches Hyperlapse, an iOS time lapse video app

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Instagram announced Tuesday another standalone app — Hyperlapse. Through Hyperlapse, which is currently only available on iOS, users can create high-quality time lapse videos.

The app includes a stabilizer which allows users to create time lapse videos, even while they’re in motion. Smartphone cinematographers can then choose a playback speed between 1x and 12x, and share the video to Instagram or Facebook. You don’t need a Facebook or Instagram account to use the app.

Hyperlapse requires iOS version 7.0 or later, and is optimized for the iPhone 5.

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App Links update: 3B+ unique URLs since April, launch of analytics and blog

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Facebook’s App Links product — aimed at helping people go straight from a News Feed post or ad into an app — has been fairly popular so far. The company announced Thursday an analytics suite, better support for Windows Phone and a blog for news about the technology.

So far, hundreds of apps such as Spotify, Hulu and Airbnb have used App Links to create more than 3 billion unique URLs.

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The Facebook marketing free ride is over

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If you want to grow your business through Facebook marketing, you will very likely have to pay for advertising.

That is the new truth.

In years past, many pages on Facebook could do all right in terms of driving sales and traffic to websites without using advertising. But now, as more pages become serious Facebook marketers, you’re battling for diminishing space in your audience’s News Feeds. Demand for impressions, views and clicks is higher than ever, while the supply of News Feed space hasn’t grown to keep up.

So while Facebook is financially free if you want to chat with friends and look at cat memes, if you are using Facebook as a tool to grow your business, advertising needs to be part of the plan.

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Facebook launches cross-device reporting for ads

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Facebook continues to make strides in becoming the “cross-platform platform,” as today the company announced a way to track performance of advertising across devices. This will enable advertisers to see how people are balancing desktop, mobile and tablet before they make a conversion.

Through this cross-device reporting, advertisers can see how different devices influenced a website conversion and mobile app actions, as well as the value of the website conversion. According to a recent study by Altimeter, more than 60 percent of U.S. adults use at least two devices daily, and more than 40 percent sometimes start an activity, like shopping, on one device and convert on another device.

Facebook blogged about this new capability:

Imagine seeing an ad for a product on your mobile phone while in line at the bank. Do you immediately make a purchase on your phone? Probably not. But perhaps you go back to your office later that day and buy on your desktop computer. Such cross-device conversions are becoming increasingly common as people move between their phones, tablets and desktop computers to interact with businesses.

Facebook already offers targeting, delivery and conversion measurement across devices. With the new cross-device report, advertisers are now able to view the devices on which people see ads and the devices on which conversions subsequently occur. For instance, a marketer can view the number of customers that clicked an ad on an iPhone but then later converted on desktop, or the number of people that saw an ad on desktop but then converted on an Android tablet.

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